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How Do Personal Injury Claims Get Settled?

You may be looking to file an injury claim but don’t have much information. Here are some FAQs if you want some more information regarding the ways in which personal injury settlements work.

Do bodily injury claims pay for medical bills?

Bodily injury claims do indeed pay for medical bills. This is because another name for bodily injury claims is a personal injury claim. After you’ve been involved in a personal injury accident, you and your personal injury lawyer in Watsonville, will either be filing a claim or a lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant will be compensating you for all medical and other expenses and property damage that resulted from the accident. Economic damages are also included in the settlement amount and medical bills are a part of this. Economic damages also cover lost wages.

Can a health insurance company be repaid from a personal injury settlement?

Your lawyer will tell you that you will have to repay the health insurance company that paid for your medical bills once you get a settlement from the defendant. Most health insurance companies have language that stipulates this in their policies. It is called a “personal injury lien.”

Can you ask your personal injury lawyer for a copy of your settlement check?

Not only can you ask your personal injury lawyer for a copy of your settlement check, you should! Be sure to ask him or her for a copy of the actual check issued by the defendant’s insurance company. You also need to ask your lawyer for copies of all checks issued to cover all of his or her costs and/or fees. You should also get a copy of the breakdown of the settlement check before it is deposited into your account.

Can you break an annuity from an auto accident settlement?

Since it is very difficult to ‘break an annuity’ from an auto accident settlement, you will probably not be able to do this! The courts set the annuity up to have the insurance company give you a steady stream of funds from the settlement over a period of time. This will be advantageous to you, especially if you have unforeseen expenses and bills arising from the accident several months after the fact. Courts rarely follow requests to ‘set aside the annuity!’

You could consult a company that purchases these types of settlements and gives you the remaining money as a lump sum. However, your personal injury lawyer will generally advise against doing so because you will get $0.25 out of every $0.50. You will also be giving your rights to future payments over to the company. You’ll essentially be giving up money you may need both now and in the future!

Does your personal injury lawyer need your permission to settle your case?

Your personal injury lawyer doesn’t always need your permission to settle your case especially if you gave him or her the right to do so and sign the release agreement on your behalf in the retainer agreement that you signed with him or her. However, if your lawyer settled the case without your consent and you don’t have a signed release agreement in place, you can tell your lawyer not to proceed with the settlement. If this fails, you may have to sue your lawyer for malpractice.